Drug Use Sexual Deviance Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2396 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

¶ … Offenders

The ritualistic offender:

Causes of rape

Early theories

The Second wave feminist theories

Social learning

Socio-cultural reasons


Evolutionary theory


Theoretical perspective

Sociological imagination

Rape is a personal trouble

Rape depicted a personal issue

Structural functionalism view of rape

Rape in Conflict

There are various situations in life that results in rape in conflict;


Racial oppression

Class oppression

Symbolic interactionism portrayal of rape


In this paper, we discuss rape as a form of sexual deviance in our contemporary society. This paper defines the various types of rape and the theories surrounding their existence in our society. We make use of two different theoretical perspectives in order to explain its occurrence in our society. Our argument is supported with theoretical and empirical criminological as well as scholarly research literature.


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Rape, which is defined by NCVS as "forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender." The occurrence of male to male rape is one of least documented and discussed issues in our contemporary society. Generally, the victim of any sort of rime had largely been ignored in the various criminological research works until the 1970s as pointed out by Maguire and Pointing (1988).This can be attributed to the fact that the main interest was put on the motivation of the individual who has perpetrated the act of rape. This is clearly shown on the work of Maguire and Pointing (1988) where they stated that:

Research Paper on Drug Use Sexual Deviance Assignment

'the victim was simply a source of information about the offending behavior, or a witness when the case was heard in court' (Maguire and Pointing, 1988).

The introduction of victimology as a discipline has helped in shedding some light on the study of what happens to the victims of rape or any other crime. The study categorically points out that it is very important to understand any form of crime through a process that does not fully concentrate on the offender but also looking at the victim situation at length. In order to understand what causes male to male rape, it is important to remember or rather to invoke the process of analyzing the role and contribution of the perpetrator as well as those that have been contributed by the victim towards their own victimization. This can be summed up using the statement by Fattah (1994) which suggested that victimology's perspective reveals that it is possible to come up with a dynamic model that encompasses the motives of the perpetrator as well as the attitude of the victim.

Types of offenders

There are generally two types of rape offenders according to Hazelwood and Warren (2000).These are:

The impulsive offender:

These are considered to be unsophisticated criminally and are to a large extent reactive in terms of their victim selection as well as behaviour at the rape scene. They do have a quite diverse criminal history with significant levels of physical violence coupled with generic sexual orientations.

The ritualistic offender:

This one has a very diverse and yet paraphilic interest with a pervasive as well as a defining life based on fantasy. This type of offender and has crime scene behaviours that possess a high level of planning and execution.

Causes of rape

Different schools of thought exist in the explanation of rape.

Early theories

The early theories of rape explained it in terms of certain factors that were deemed 'uncontrollable'

These uncontrollable factors included:

Internal factors such as uncontrollable sexual impulse, under-developed ego and unresolved sexual childhood desires

External factors such as the placing of the blame on the victim's behaviour, his mother or his wife.

This category of early theories is criticized for having very little empirical support as well as having methodological problems.

Criticisms: little empirical support, methodological problems

The Second wave feminist theories

These theories had the following view points.

They viewed rape as an actual act of violence as outlined by Brownmiller (1975) who described rape as '… nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear' (Brownmiller,1975;pg 15).

This group of theories viewed rape as a heterosexual as depicted in the work of Catherine MacKinnon.

MacKinnon (2006) argued that there is an element of force in any hetero-sex. However, only in cases where this force exceeds the one considered by men as being of 'normal level' is the act referred to as rape.

Social learning

The social learning theorist's perspective on rape is that it is acquired behaviour. The behaviour can be acquired through:

1. Modelling such as the aping of rape scenes from websites and films

2. Linking of sex with certain amount of violence as depicted in pornography

3. The beliefs of rape as myths

4. The desensitization of rape as a form of violence due to its prevalence on televisions and video games

Studies have also indicated that there is a link between the acceptance of rape myths and the various cases of reported participation in rape.

Socio-cultural reasons

The socio-cultural aspects of rape incidents can best be illustrated via the work of Scully (1990) who interviewed several convicted rapists and found out that they never had significant difference from the other offenders

Mills (1940) also pointed out the aspect and role of vocabulary of motive. This vies was shared by Scully (1990, pg. 98) who pointed out that an integral element of learning how to rape has an inclusion of the mastery of the various vocabulary that can effectively be utilized (for the wrong reasons) to explain this form of sexual violence against women in a manner which is socially acceptable. In Scully's view the men who participated in rape considered it a slow risk act which has high rewards attached to it. In fact they considered rape as an 'act of normal deviance' (Scully, 1990, pg. 63).


The socio-biological causes of rape takes into account the following details:

Evolutionary theory

Not much research has been dedicated towards the researching of the evolutionary and genetic mechanisms of rape (Maletzky,1996).The work of Palmer and Thornhill (2000) postulates that there exist theories that are ideologically supported as opposed to being scientifically motivated. Rape should therefore be considered a sexual crime.


There are various interests that are targeted towards the cognition-based ideologies of rape. These are driven by certain specific notions such as:

The distortion of the rapists' cognition makes them to minimize, justify and even rationalize their acts of rape.

The rapists may misunderstand certain signals

The rapists may lack social skills as well as lack empathy

The later feminist theories postulate that an increase in the level of women's equality would in the long run lead to a reduction in the prevalence of rape in the society.

Theoretical perspective

Sociological imagination

The sociological imagination of rape as portrayed by the work of Kendall (1996) has the following postulates:

Rape is a personal trouble

This is depicted when we consider the rape victim as being responsible for the occurrence of the rape. This is despite the fact that various other causes may be largely beyond the control of the victim

Rape depicted a personal issue

In this case, w considers rape a societal problem. This is in light of the statistics such as the occurrence of rape every five minutes which is widely condemned. This in consideration of the fact that about 16% of the rape victims do report the crime to the various police departments (National Victim Center, 1992).This shows very well that rape is depicted in the public domain and never is it depicted as a personal problem for the rape victim. The arguments are therefore numerous and are packed with various forms of theoretical arguments like the neo-Marxism and the feminism perspective under the Conflict perspectives.

Structural functionalism view of rape

The functionalist's view of the society has an emphasis on the importance of sharing certain moral values as well as strong societal bonds. This is due the importance of having stability in the society. When exposed to rapid social changes such as urbanization and industrialization, certain moral values tend to get eroded. This leads individuals to be uncertain on the best ways of reacting to the rapid changes. The rapid social changes may erode the various traditional functions of the society and its related institutions such as schools, family and religion. This leads these institutions to become less effective in the creation of a shared moral standard. This view can be used or rather cited in order to justify the high rate of rape in areas that experience elevated levels of divorce, high rates of tourists and high rate of geographical mobility (Baron and Straus, 1989). The best recommendation that should be adopted is the fostering of high levels of moral values such as religion, education and family. The criminal justice system too should be harsh and swift in the prevention of the offenders in committing rape.

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